Whether you’re a solo traveler or traveling with friends, road trips are exhilarating and define many people’s summer adventures. But road trips carry a certain level of stress that can mostly be avoided with proper planning. The perfect road trip awaits you, and we want to ensure you enjoy every moment.
Get Acquainted With Your Travel Partners
Most people think they know themselves until an unexpected event or emergency occurs while traveling alone. Avoid familiar pitfalls by learning your limits and reflecting on your ability to handle the challenging situations you’ve encountered on other trips.
If you’re traveling with companions, it is essential to discuss traveling styles to make sure you’re compatible with travel partners. It may sound less spontaneous, but discuss your travel expectations to avoid tension. Some of the questions you may want to ask are:
- Are you an early riser, or do you prefer to sleep in?
- How long do you expect to travel each day?
- Do you prefer camping accommodations, a hotel, a hostel, or a variety?
- Will you have food requirements that need to be addressed on our trip?
Have an Itinerary
An itinerary sets the intention of your travel. It can determine how long you plan to stay at each destination, what amount of time you want to devote to specific activities, and establish the must-see places you can’t miss.
Stick with your itinerary so everyone can see and experience their must-see destination and show enthusiasm about the places they consider highlights. There’s nothing worse than being excited about a place and visiting it with people who lack your energy.
Determine Your Budget
When you travel solo, it’s a given that you are solely responsible for the cost of the trip. But when you have traveling companions, decide who and how necessities will be paid for. If your friend is driving his truck, offer to take care of most of the gas or a few extra nights’ lodging. These discussions allow travelers to express their expectations.
Some people don’t hesitate to spend extravagantly on meals to try out a highly recommended restaurant, while others are okay with eating ramen while splurging on excursions and entry fees to major events. In most relationships, conflict over money and how it is spent is one of the top reasons relationships end. No one wants to lose a friend over ramen.
Make a Backup Plan
More people are on the road than ever. Many destinations, such as national and state parks, now require reservations to enter during scheduled time slots. It is wise to make your reservations well in advance. If this isn’t feasible, have a backup plan to fill the time slot.
Planning for unexpected events will ensure you stay on track and dodge the disappointment that accompanies the feeling you get when you see the sign declaring that parking is full at an entrance or approach the mile-long car line into a destination. Your backup plan is a great way to navigate setbacks.
Plan for Emergencies
Planning for emergencies is the less glamorous side of travel, but it happens when we least expect it. Over the last decade, over 370,000 people were killed in transportation accidents, and 95% of those accidents occurred on roads, streets, and highways. These statistics are a sobering reminder that accidents happen often and road trips are vulnerable to these unfortunate circumstances.
Make sure you have updated auto insurance before setting out. Make emergency contact information available, and inform your traveling partners of any medical conditions that can interfere with treatment. And if a car accident occurs, become familiar with your legal options.
You have a plan. The road and summer are calling. Now safely make your way into incredible adventures and create a lifetime of memories.